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New WCO guidelines emphasise importance of TIR in modernising transit

11 Jul 2017

IRU welcomes a new set of guidelines, issued by the World Customs Organization (WCO), which highlights the important role of transit systems, particularly TIR as the only global customs transit system, in cutting trade and transport costs significantly.

The emphasis on using best practices and global standards is a serious consideration for the world’s governments, who are strongly encouraged to integrate the Transit Guidelines into their own transit projects.

TIR’s digital tools are recognised for bringing added value, while the guidelines also suggest that customs administrations should allow operators to use global systems such as TIR as national transit declarations, even if they are not contracting parties to the relevant international conventions.

The Guidelines will be used on a voluntary basis by customs administrations, as a practical tool to assess national and regional transit regimes, develop tailor-made assistance plans, and support the modernisation of transit procedures.

Given that there are numerous regional and national initiatives on transit, the Guidelines are designed to harmonise different regional transit projects, supporting economic growth and promoting regional economic integration.

The development of the document, containing 150 guiding principles for efficient transit regimes, is an important milestone for Landlocked Developing Countries and other transit countries, in particular.

IRU has had input into WCO transit workshops in a number of countries – including the Cote d’Ivoire, Bolivia and Zambia – which has strengthened ties between the customs and road transport communities.